Birth of the Cool Opening: Barkley L. Hendricks with 9th Wonder
Nasher Museum of Art—Artist Barkley L. Hendricks' catalogue of oil and acrylic paintings has been described as " bold, cool and empowering." It only seems right to celebrate the opening of his first-ever retrospective (read our story about Birth of the Cool) with a party that embodies the same. Check out Hendricks' charismatic paintings and party the night away with a cash bar, an artist conversation and Grammy award-winning DJ 9th Wonder providing the soundtrack. The party starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. —Kathy Justice
Visit nasher.duke.edu for more information on the upcoming Birth of the Cool exhibit.
Carolina Ballet's Cabaret
Memorial Auditorium—The Carolina Ballet will brighten February with two programs of lovely dancing. Beginning a five-performance run tonight in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium is Cabaret, in which cabaret singer Andrea Marcovicci will perform danceable, romantic songs onstage while the dancers glide and spin through choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett. This style of performance has become popular with ballet companies around the country as a means of showing off the dancers' range—and as a way to have live music that doesn't cost the earth. This will be Marcovicci's third appearance with the Carolina Ballet (the last was in 2002), and the program is part of the company's reprise of audience favorites from its first 10 years.
On Feb. 21, in Fletcher Opera Theater, the company will open Balanchine Favorites, which will include the stunning Apollo from 1928, set to music by Stravinsky; a new ballet by company artistic director Robert Weiss, also set to Stravinsky; and (new to the company) Balanchine's 1961 Raymonda Variations, to music by Alexander Glazunov, as well as the Valse Fantaisie, set to delightful music by Mikhail Glinka. —Kate Dobbs Ariail
For tickets, call the Carolina Ballet box office at 719-0900 or visit www.carolinaballet.com.
Sebastian Maniscalco and Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show
Student Union, UNC Campus—When comedian Sebastian Maniscalco (left in the picture) got to spend a month touring major venues across the country with Vince Vaughn, he was careful not to quit his day job as a waiter. "When I left to go on tour, I had every intention of going back to my day job," says Maniscalco, whose tour is chronicled in the new documentary Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show, which premieres tomorrow. "It's basically the biggest break I've had in my career up to this point."
The exposure Maniscalco received from the tour helped him finally go into comedy full time. January saw his second appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and his own Comedy Central Presents special. Tonight, he'll appear at UNC as part of a special advance screening of the film at 7:30. Though Vaughn's tour took Maniscalco everywhere from Bakersfield, Calif. to Des Moines, Iowa, this will mark the comedian's first visit to North Carolina (he says he'd love to perform at Goodnight's in Raleigh).
Maniscalco has nothing but praise for Vaughn, whom he calls "a truly unselfish guy." He says the tour helped him learn to perform before a large audience: "It gave me a confidence that I didn't have before." He's planning his own cross-country tour, along with trying to get a distributor for an hour-long DVD of his act. Eventually, he'd like to try his own tour with other up-and-comers. "It'd be a great thing to give back and pay it forward and do it for some other rising comedians," Maniscalco says. —Zack Smith
The Loners, Sir Arthur & the Royal Knights
Tir Na Nog—Coming off the eight-band, two-night spectacle of its fifth annual Double Barrel Benefit (see this week's Music Briefs), N.C. State's WKNC 88.1 FM returns to its weekly show-hosting business. This installation of Local Beer, Local Band turboscreams with cranked tube amps and clattering drums from two pieces of righteous Raleigh rock: After a two-year break, Raleigh's The Loners is back, still using Chris Jones' traps to clear the way for Eddie Taylor's MC5 charge. Sir Arthur is a new name for recombined familiar faces: If you liked the meat of The Greatest Hits, those dudes went and found some new sauce. Your ears will ring on Friday. Just remember that means they're smiling. As always, free and at 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin